I have a friend named Marcus who’s a fantastic system admin for Windows systems.
He’s very much into gaming and purchased an Alienware laptop. These are supposed to be top of the line machines that are also aesthetically beautiful, too.
However, he’s had nothing but problems with it. Most of them related with overheating, including the fact it caught fire.Â And while his extended warranty was in place, it’s spent more time in the shop than playing games.Â And when it was playing games, they crashed and blue screens.
Being a Windows expert who handles hundreds of systems and corporately manages the master images for companies, he got frustrated enough to dig under the hood …and he found some surprising results.
As he was recounting them over dinner, I mentioned that he really ought to document them in a blog somewhere for the universe to benefit from.Â This morning he sent me an email with many of the details, of which I’ll paraphrase:
The source of is reliability errors came from the fact that DirectX was malfunctioning.Â He found a log file stating that Alienware had installed the Japanese version on his machine.Â This explains why updates were so slow, they weren’t going to US based servers!Â He also discovered, thank you Microsoft, that you can’t uninstall this feature.
Using the same machine he wiped the hard drive, installed his own copy of the operating system and software, using nothing provided by Alienware.Â The machine worked perfectly.Â Or, well, it did until he discovered the machine would reboot just by selecting another display resolution.Â Apparently if the external screen’s resolution was set higher than the built in LCD, it would crash.Â Thus, it would work, but just in a lower resolution. However a few hours later it shut off and just went dead.
Using Google, Marcus discovered that David P. Meyer is starting a class action lawsuit against Alienware Notebook Systems starting at $260 million.Â With a handful of repair orders and original receipts, Marcus is joining in, as anyone who’s had to take their machine to the shop, even ones, is eligible for a complete refund.